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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 10, 2011 / 8 Sivan, 5771

Killing the Housing Market

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | And you thought things couldn't get worse on the housing front. The U.S. housing market is in the worst shape since the Great Depression, and now the Obama administration's solution is to impose new rules that would banish 60 percent of current homebuyers from the market.

The proposed Mortgage Qualification Rules are the result of legislation passed in the wake of the financial meltdown to ensure that mortgage-backed securities are based on high-quality loans. But the effect will be to disqualify millions of potential homebuyers.

Earlier this year, the six federal agencies tasked with drafting the rules added a requirement that homebuyers make a 20 percent down payment to qualify for low-interest mortgages. In addition, the new proposals announced this week would cap the amount of income that borrowers could devote to mortgage payments to no more than 28 percent of gross income. Worse, it would disqualify any borrower whose combined debt payments amounted to more than 36 percent of monthly gross income.

What does this mean in practical terms? In 2009 (the last year for which we have accurate data), median household income was just under $50,000. Under the proposed new mortgage rules, an average family would be ineligible for a low-interest mortgage if they owed more than $1,500 a month in payments for all their financed debt: mortgage, cars, credit cards, student loans, and anything else bought over time. And the mortgage payment alone could not be higher than $1,166, including escrow for taxes and insurance.

The proposed rules would put an end to the American Dream for much of the middle class. As Urban League president Marc Morial said, "Homeownership, as we know it, could be a thing of the past" if the proposed rules take effect.

But the damage extends beyond depriving individuals of the opportunity to buy a home — it will ripple throughout the economy. There is no question that the depression in the housing market is costing jobs, and not just the obvious ones in construction. Part of what has made the American economy more resilient than other countries' over the years is the willingness of Americans to pick up and move when jobs in one area disappeared but were available in other places. But the inability of many people to sell homes has reduced American geographic mobility to historic lows.

The consequence is to keep those people who have lost their jobs, but own their homes, from moving to states where jobs are more plentiful. If they can't find a buyer because the government has made it so difficult to qualify for loans, they're better off staying put and collecting unemployment insurance.

There is no question that many Americans have become addicted to debt and live way beyond their means. But one of the best ways of determining whether or not someone can really afford his or her lifestyle is to examine credit history-not simply the level of debt. But these new rules would punish even those borrowers who have never missed a payment and have exemplary credit ratings.

It also treats income as if it is fixed over a borrower's lifetime. A relatively young college graduate may have significant debt from earning that degree, but his or her income is likely to increase substantially over the 30 years of a mortgage, and restricting access to a loan on that basis makes little sense.

And, of course, the obverse is also possible. Incomes fall as well as rise. Just because someone is earning a lot today doesn't mean he or she will be making the same amount next year or the following.

But the real problem with these rules is what they will do to the overall housing market. Without buyers, home prices will continue to plummet. There are already too many unsold houses on the market, about twice the number you'd expect in a healthy environment. And the administration's solution is to drive millions of credit-worthy buyers from being able to purchase them?

These Obama administration rules could turn what increasingly appears to be a double-dip economic recession into a full-scale depression. The president will pay politically for this disastrous policy — but Americans will pay out of their actual pockets for his folly.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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